Credit: Mike DuBose, UM News

UMCOR U.S. Latest Responses

UMCOR and its partners are responding to disasters across the globe every day. Please join us in prayer for the affected areas and consider giving to UMCOR U.S. Disaster Response to support these efforts.

UMCOR will provide further updates as they become available. For the most up to date information, follow the UMCOR Facebook page.

2023 DISASTER RESPONSE

Severe weather and tornadoes in Alabama and Georgia

In mid-January, a powerful storm front swept across the Southeast, producing a number of tornadoes that caused damage in both the Alabama-West Florida and North Georgia conferences. Hundreds of homes were destroyed and at least 9 people were killed.

UMCOR awarded solidarity grants to both conferences to support a coordinated response for survivors, including relief supplies, debris removal and clean-up efforts. ERTs were deployed in both conferences. The South Georgia Conference has also deployed to assist with the relief efforts.

Beginning in mid-December 2022 and continuing into mid-January 2023, California has experienced a continuous series of rainstorms (frequently referred to as “atmospheric rivers”). This comes on top of wildfire damage from the last few years for many areas. As a result, California has had an extensive number of floods, mudslides, landslides, and other related damage that is estimated to have caused several billion dollars of losses – and counting.

UMCOR awarded a solidarity grant to the California-Nevada Conference to support a coordinated response for survivors, including relief supplies, debris removal and clean-up efforts. The conference aided several communities, including those in the Sacramento area, focusing on flooded agricultural workers and senior and low-income households.

2022 DISASTER RESPONSE

Blizzard in Buffalo and Western New York

Over the Christmas weekend, Western New York experienced a devastating blizzard. This tragic storm buried the city of Buffalo in over 50 inches of snow and was accompanied by a –30-degree wind chill and 80 mph winds. The disaster took at least 39 lives.

UMCOR awarded a solidarity grant to the Upper New York Conference to support a coordinated response for survivors, including relief supplies. Funds were used to replenish food pantries and support other emergency services.

In late November, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama experienced severe weather and dangerous tornado activity. In Eutaw and Montgomery, Alabama, homes and businesses saw structural damage. UMCOR awarded a solidarity grant to the Alabama West Florida Conference to support families and communities in need of immediate assistance.

Hurricane Nicole made landfall in Florida on November 10 with sustained winds of 75 mph, giving the state two landfalling hurricanes (along with Ian) in one year for the first time since 2005.

In response to the needs of survivors in multiple coastal communities, UMCOR awarded a solidarity grant to the Florida Conference to support their local relief efforts.

Hurricane Ian came through western Cuba to make landfall in Florida as a catastrophic category 4 storm on September 28. Whole cities and communities were devastated in Florida and the storm continued to bring heavy rain, wind and flooding up the east coast of the U.S., affecting numerous states.

The Florida Annual Conference received a solidarity grant from UMCOR to address the immediate needs of survivors and deploy supplies. In South Carolina, Ian was the first hurricane to make landfall in nearly six years and UMCOR awarded a solidarity grant to the conference to help address immediate needs.

In Florida, an UMCOR consultant will provide assistance with planning and logistics and a program manager is working on the development of a short-term relief grant while a long-term recovery program is developed. In South Carolina, UMCOR will assist with the development of long-term recovery grants.

Hurricane Fiona, the first major hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, caused catastrophic damage in Puerto Rico and brought torrential rains to the Dominican Republic in mid-September. It left millions without power and running water for weeks.

In addition to an initial solidarity grant to help address immediate needs, UMCOR awarded a $4 million grant to Rebuilding Communities with Hope (REHACE), the social holiness arm of the Iglesia Metodista de Puerto Rico / Methodist Church of Puerto Rico (MCPR), for a multi-year project focusing on long-term recovery efforts. 

REHACE will assist over 1000 households with comprehensive recovery assistance over the next three years. UMCOR’s longstanding partnership with REHACE over the course of many disasters has provided hope and healing to thousands of Puerto Ricans. 

Flash flooding brought severe damage to Chattooga and Floyd Counties in Georgia in early September. UMCOR awarded a solidarity grant to the North Georgia Conference to assist in local relief efforts.

In late August, the people of Jackson, Mississippi experienced flooding and a water system emergency. UMCOR awarded a solidarity grant to the Mississippi Conference to provide potable water. This emergency grant will help meet immediate needs for access to safe drinking water for those affected.

In late July, Kentucky and other parts of Appalachia experienced devastating flooding resulting in the loss of life and property. UMCOR awarded solidarity grants to the Kentucky Annual Conference and the Central Appalachian Missionary Conference plus delivered nearly 3,000 cleaning and hygiene kits during the first week of the disaster. Supplies of non potable water and generators were also delivered then. In coordination with the conference disaster response coordinator, UMCOR-trained Early Response Teams (ERT) from multiple states are deploying to the affected areas.

Severe weather and tornadoes touched down in many regions of the U.S. during the spring and summer months. UMCOR awarded solidarity grants to the above conferences in support of immediate response to the damage and to meet the needs of survivors. 

Severe weather and tornadoes touched down in many regions of the U.S. during the spring and summer months. UMCOR awarded solidarity grants to the above conferences in support of immediate response to the damage and to meet the needs of survivors.

On January 16, several rotations touched down and caused significant damage to residential and commercial properties, displacing roughly 300 people. UMCOR awarded an initial solidarity grant and is financially supporting the Florida Conference in a 2-year recovery project that will focus on home repair and case management.  

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2021 Response

Wildfire in Colorado

On December 30 2021, a fire rapidly spread through Boulder County, Colorado, that consumed over 6,000 acres and close to 1,000 homes. UMCOR awarded an emergency grant to the Mountain Sky Conference to assist with immediate needs of evacuees and other survivors of the Marshall Fire. UMCOR followed with a recovery grant in 2022 to provide direct assistance and case management services to households affected by the fire.

Following a deadly string of December 2021 storms and tornadoes, UMCOR supported conference disaster response coordinators in damage assessment and immediate relief efforts. Initial emergency grants were awarded in Kentucky, Arkansas and Western Tennessee to support local response efforts. UMCOR awarded a substantial recovery grant to the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Annual Conference in 2022 for volunteer engagement and case management.

In October, multiple tornados and high winds hit the already ravaged areas of Lake Charles and southern Louisiana. UMCOR awarded a solidarity grant to the Louisiana Conference to support their meeting of urgent needs such as food and shelter and to support volunteer efforts, initial case work and other relief activities.

A group of 11 tornadoes moved across Alabama in March, causing death and destruction in four counties. An UMCOR recovery grant is providing case management and construction services in the Alabama West Florida Conference.

Category 4 Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on August 29 2021, the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and continued to bring destruction along the east coast. UMCOR awarded initial solidarity grants to the Louisiana, Mississippi, Greater New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, New York and Susquehanna conferences. It awarded a recovery grant to the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference for case management and construction management.

UMCOR awarded a grant to the Tennessee Conference in support of immediate relief efforts following torrential rain and flooding in August. The region of middle Tennessee continues to recover from major flooding in March, for which UMCOR also awarded a grant.

UMCOR awarded a grant to the New England Conference to support relief efforts following the heavy rain and flooding produced by the August storm.

UMCOR awarded a grant to the Western North Carolina Conference to support initial relief efforts for flooding caused by the August storm and awarded a recovery grant to assist households in recovery from the heavy rain, river surges and floods.

The California-Nevada and Oregon-Idaho Conferences received grants to aid in the response to the 2021 Dixie and Bootleg Fires. Technical assistance and training was provided to the conferences. UMCOR continues to provide assistance for recovery from previous wildfires. The Pacific-Northwest Conference was awarded a recovery grant for rapidly spreading wildfire in Washington State in summer of 2020.

On June 25 – 26, widespread rain fell in Metro Detroit. Some areas experienced 6-8 inches of rain resulting in major flooding. UMCOR awarded a grant to support disaster case managers in their work of help meet unmet needs of survivors and continued its support in 2022 with a large recovery grant.

UMCOR awarded a grant to bolster the conference’s disaster relief efforts in support of survivors and families of the tragic building collapse on June 24 2021.

In late April, a hail and wind storm brought widespread damage to the small unincorporated town of D’Hanis. UMCOR awarded a grant to support the Rio Texas Conference in long term recovery, with funds used to purchase material and, where necessary, contract labor, to make repairs to damaged homes.

Emergency funding supported relief efforts in the Texas, Central Texas and North Texas Conferences. Cleaning kits were delivered to communities where burst pipes caused damage to homes, buildings and churches. UMCOR-trained local early response teams deployed. A recovery grant was awarded to the Texas Conference to support the repair of homes.

Past Response

Hurricane Dorian (2019)

Solidarity grants were awarded to the Florida and North Carolina Conferences to assist with initial response efforts.

UMCOR supported the California-Pacific and California-Nevada Conferences as they responded to the needs of those affected by the devastating wildfires of 2017 and 2018. Grants were awarded totaling over $1.5 million for response and recovery ministries.

UMCOR solidarity grants were awarded to support initial response efforts in the Alabama-West Florida and Florida Conferences. Additionally, recovery grants were approved in the amounts of $118,271 for the Florida Conference and $617,368 for the Alabama-West Florida Conference to support vital survivor services, including disaster case management, reconstruction and volunteer coordination.

UMCOR awarded grants to the North Carolina and South Carolina Conferences to support response efforts. Recovery grants were approved in the amounts of $825,050 for South Carolina and $1,428,000 for North Carolina to support vital survivor services, including disaster case management, reconstruction and volunteer coordination. In both conferences, recovery programs were launched in January 2019. UMCOR supported with training and consultation.

UMCOR awarded partners in Texas and Louisiana grants totaling over $13.8 million to aid in the recovery of more than 12,000 survivors.

UMCOR worked closely with the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico to develop of a comprehensive plan for recovery. This included support for disaster case management, direct assistance, volunteer coordination, materials and supplies, and contracted construction services in 25 municipalities throughout the island. UMCOR awarded grants and relief supplies totaling over $20 million.

UMCOR awarded partners in Texas and Louisiana grants totaling over $13.8 million to aid in the recovery of more than 12,000 survivors.

UMCOR awarded $9.1 million to the Florida Conference to support its comprehensive recovery program, aiding the recovery of more than 10,000 survivors.

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